Retirement Planning Strategies

DIY FOODS THAT Save Money

can whip up in no time. To get started, try this French dressing: two parts olive oil, one part sherry vinegar, a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, and a clove of minced garlic. Even without preservatives, your concoctions will store in the refrigerator for weeks. Hummus Savings per tub: $3.50 Hummus goes great with everything, from bread and vegetables to grilled meats, but it often costs over $5 for a small tub. Canned chickpeas and tahini paste are a lot cheaper and making your own hummus couldn’t be easier. Blend one can of cooked chickpeas, the juice of one lemon, ¼ cup of tahini, and two tablespoons of olive oil. Mix until smooth and add salt and pepper to taste. Granola Savings per box: $5 It’s a great breakfast option, but one that comes with a steep markup. Combine oats, On the days Mary Beth isn’t helping clients, she cherishes being able to spend time with her three grandsons: Dominic, Alex, and Nolan. “Simply hanging out with them is enough to put a smile on my face,” Mary Beth remarks. “It’s amazing to see how quickly they grow up.” Mary Beth is also something of a world traveler and is always looking forward to her next adventure. Her upcoming voyage will take her to Spain and Italy. “My last trip, and one of my most memorable,” she notes, “was a vacation to Norway with my husband. It’s probably the most beautiful place I’ve ever been.” We’re very lucky that Mary Beth carves time out of her retirement to advise our clients. Her experience, expertise, and personality add a lot to our office. She may be a part-time employee, but she makes a full-time contribution.

dried fruit, and nuts, and you’re done. You can also add a little honey and bake the mixture. Shape into bars for lunch-time treats. Breadcrumbs and Croutons Savings per container: $2.50 The price of packaged breadcrumbs is simply outrageous. When your loaf of sourdough goes stale, don’t throw it out. Cube it, toss in some olive oil, and bake it on a flat pan for homemade croutons. Alternately, crush it up as breadcrumbs and use it to bread meats or make stuffing. This is a sure fire way to save money while reducing waste - a win-win solution. The next time you’re at the market, ask yourself which items in your basket can just as easily be made at home. Put in the effort to do it yourself, and your checkbook and taste buds will thank you.

Everyone has to eat, and food is one of the largest routine expenses for every family. While eating at home more often is a great way to save money, why not take things one step further? There are a lot of items that you probably buy packaged and premade that are just as easy, delicious, and more nutritious to make at home. Here are some of the biggest offenders when it comes to an inflated grocery bill. Salad Dressing Savings per bottle: $3 Not only is bottled dressing expensive, but it also comes with added salt and sugar you can easily cut out of your diet. Dressing is a simple formula: oil, acid (vinegar or lemon juice), plus added flavors. Once you get the ratios down, you’ll be shocked at the tasty creations you At Retirement Planning Strategies, we’ve helped scores of federal employees navigate retirement. One of those federal employees, Mary Beth Saldin, just so happens to work for us now. After spending 36 years working for the Department of Veteran Affairs, Mary Beth retired, and she now devotes some of her time to helping people who are in the same position as she once was. “I ended up working for Ann because I was a satisfied client,” Mary Beth says. “I really believe in what Ann does. I love the team here, and I’m proud to provide guidance to federal employees.” Mary Beth enjoys educating people on benefits they never knew were available, with the goal of making their lives easier as they approach retirement. “Another thing I enjoy about working here,” Mary Beth jokes, “is that I get to make my own schedule.”

Meet Mary Beth Saldin PART-TIME EMPLOYEE, FULL-TIME GRANDMOTHER

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